Importance and impact of research ethics on industry

Wednesday, July 23, 2014: 3:00 PM
2102A (Kansas City Convention Center)
Mike Brown , Global Animal Products, Inc., Amarillo, TX
Doug Smith , Performance Plus Liquids, Inc., Sterling, CO
Abstract Text:

Ethics is commonly defined as the rules of behavior or norms of conduct that differentiate between acceptable and unacceptable practices.  Guidance of scientists by an appropriate ethical compass is paramount in research because scientists occupy a unique position of trust with the readers/users of their data.  One end of the research ethics spectrum is typified by descriptors such as error-free, accurate, precise, repeatable, well-documented, transparent, objective, and unbiased, whereas the opposite end of the spectrum involves misconduct in some form.  A wealth of resources is available that illuminate the principles of ethics in the context of responsible conduct in research.  Full awareness and evolution of one's own understanding of ethics arises from daily utilization of these principles and periodic reflection.  In the scope of this presentation, the impact of the research ethics of a given applied research program on industry is a function of the quality of the data generated and conveyed, and on the cultivation of skills and attributes of graduate students from that program that will be carried into future careers.  Herein, industry refers to beef cattle production and the professionals that provide service to this sector of agriculture.  Discussion will encompass quality assurance considerations in the execution of applied studies and generalized examples that illustrate the potential impact of low-quality data on certain aspects of industry.  A comprehensive survey of employers of MS and PhD graduates in the cattle feeding sector from 20 states in the US and 1 Canadian province indicates that the area of greatest discrepancy between employer desires and employee preparation involved elements of character, followed by interpersonal and communication skills.  Efforts to conduct and report high-quality data garner the highest value and appreciation by industry.  Greater emphasis on fostering good character and communication skills of developing scientists will be beneficial to industry, academia, and society. 


ethics, applied science, quality assurance